Employment law covers a variety of rights, benefits, and protections. These laws are meant to protect a person from unfair treatment by a current or prospective employer. A practiced employment attorney can help you identify and execute your employee rights.
Federal law forbids discrimination or disparate treatment. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from workplace discrimination for people who fall into listed categories.
An employer is prohibited from discriminating includes but are not limited to:
- Ancestry and national origin;
- Marital Status; and
- Sexual orientation.
Any kind of harassment can be considered an act of discrimination as well under FEHA.
When workplace discrimination has reached an apex, wrongful termination may occur. If an employer terminates an employee due to discrimination is a violation of worker’s rights.
In California, employees without an employment contract generally can be terminated with or without a cause at any time. Employees terminated without reason related to work performance can file wrongful termination. An employee can file wrongful termination if they’ve been fired due to whistleblowing, taking medical leave, or leaving to serve in the armed forces.
Wrongful termination claims can be filed at the state or federal level.
Wage and Hour
Employment law sometimes has cases connected to an employee’s wages and hours. California has a minimum wage requirement of $10 or $10.50 an hour. Employers are not required to pay higher wages if an employee agreed to the minimum wage in their contract.
Employers who do not pay overtime to a wage earner are violating employee rights. Often times, an employer will not pay an employee on time. If an employer is negligent and continues to not pay the worker, a plaintiff can file a claim.
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) govern the federal statues for employee benefits. Employers who’ve promised benefits for their employees must fulfill their obligations under employment laws.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 dictates that employers are required to give extended leaves of absence for employees under specific circumstances. The Family and Medical Leave Act encompasses both private and public companies. An eligible worker is allowed 12 weeks off within a 12 month period.
An employer must let the employee return to the same or similar job after the unpaid leave. Some situations that make an employee eligible for family leave include:
- The birth of a child
- Certain needs associated with active-duty military spouse, child, or parent
- Adoption or fostering of a child
- A serious health problem for the employee’s parent, spouse, or child
- A serious health problem for the employee
An employer is required to pay worker’s compensation if an employee is injured on the job. Normally, this means the employee is paid while recovering from their injuries. In some cases, employees are entitled to benefits during the duration of their healing.
If an employer refuses to pay “workers comp” for an employee, the employee can file a claim. Some injuries that may qualify for workers comp include:
- Head injury
- Back injury
- Neck injury
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Knee injury
- Foot injury
- Construction accidents
- Chemical exposure
- Shoulder injury
- Elbow injury
- Hand injury
- Hearing loss